Kimi Raikkonen said Thursday in Barcelona that despite Lotus technical director James Allison leaving the team, the team can weather the storm from a technical perspective.
“For me it doesn’t really make a difference,” he told Autosport, among others. “I cannot tell if it will make a difference in one week or in one year, or if it won’t make a difference at all. It’s not like it suddenly happened one day. People have discussed it and the team will have known it was coming for a while.”
It was announced Wednesday that Nick Chester, who had been Lotus’ engineering director, will take over the role from this weekend.
Raikkonen added that the shift will make no impact on what he opts to do for 2014. The 2007 World Champion has said previously that he’d wait until later in the year to make any decisions about his future.
Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.
Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.
Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.
“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.
“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”